Action Figures Can Help in Child Development

It is well known that young children are continuously learning through play. On top of that, it is recognised that youngsters are certainly going to take part in play activities when they are in line with topics that they are interested in. Due to the increase from the rise in popularity of superhero movies, youngsters cannot help but come in contact with superhero figures on television as well as in advertisements. This is particularly widespread in toy advertisements, and several of the best selling toys with this past year were superhero action figures. With 2015 seeing the launch of the second Avengers movie, in addition to a new Batman v Superman movie, this trend will undoubtedly get stronger.

Children are not only willing, but actively wishing to engage in play with action figures. This presents an opportunity for parents. Playing with action figures can have many benefits to a child’s development. Action figure play requires an active imagination. Creative or imaginary play is an important aspect of play that should be encouraged where possible. As action figures cannot talk for themselves, children must give them a voice. This prompts the child to develop the skills to act in role as a character. Similarly, they must learn the skills to develop the drama out of role, in order to shape the storyline.

Where possible, parents should look to involve themselves in this type of play. However, it is important to encourage child led play. Children should drive the narrative of this creative play, while the adult should react in an encouraging and positive manner. Enthusiasm and support for the child’s creativity helps foster an active imagination. Children are prone to reenacting familiar storylines in play. When this happens, parents should encourage the child to adapt the storyline using their own imagination.

For added benefit, parents should consider action figures that require assembly, rather than ready-made figures. This is not always age or ability appropriate. For example, parents should take care when considering a LEGO style action figure for children, as there is not only a choking risk, but little benefit when a child is unable to self-assemble. However, when children are at a stage that they can assemble their own toys, this should always be encouraged. Construction based activities are beneficial actions for the development of fine motor skills. Parents may need to model or scaffold these assemblies at first, but once observed the child should be able to attempt to complete the task themselves.